Tazzle Silentsong, 46
Head Gamemaker

As Head Gamemaker, Tazzle Silentsong had always understood the importance of the tributes' individual sessions with the Gamemakers. Everyone who wasn't directly involved with the Games, from popular sponsors to casual home-viewers had a lot riding on the Games and their Victors, and more than wanting to give the tributes their time to shine, Tazzle wanted these viewers to be able to make informed decisions regarding who they supported.

For the 100th Hunger Games, the tributes were going in District order starting with the boys, so the first tribute to enter the gymnasium was Amos de la Renta from District 1. Throughout training, his weapon of choice was clearly swords, and in his individual session, he demonstrated knowledge of swords of all sizes. At the peak of his performance, he had a sword in each hand and was fighting two different moving targets at once. The first session of the day was an easy score of 10.

Chardonnay Salvatore was next, and Tazzle was ready to be impressed. Unlike most of the girls from her District who gravitated towards sharp and dainty weapons like knives and arrows, Chardonnay wielded a battle axe with ease. She was able to lift it over her head and throw it across the room, landing it directly in the skull of the dummy she was aiming for. Her movements were quick and graceful, and she showed a clear understanding of her surroundings. She was technically near perfect, and only slightly less impressive than her District partner. After a short discussion, the Gamemakers decided to give her a 9.

Castor Schultz was a slight dark horse choice as far as the tributes from Districts 1, 2, and 4 were concerned. He spent all of his training time with his head down, seeming more than happy to let the people he was training alongside have the spotlight. In his private session, it was a different story. Like Amos, Castor held a sword in each hand. But rather than fight off two separate opponents, he meticulously fought against one, deflecting attacks from all sides. He even set off the machine that would launch flying projectiles at him, which he used the flat part of his sword to dodge. Although he was less flashy than the two tributes who came before him, there was no denying his skill, and he was given a unanimous 10.

The room full of Gamemakers waited with baited breath when Hera Cambridge entered the gym. There was a wide array of opinions about her capability to do good; some fully believed in her potential, while others were of the belief that she was nothing more than a pretty face. She took a large quiver of arrows and shot them one by one at different dummies, both stationary and mobile. She mixed up her distance and timing, and while she never made anything less than a bullseye, it got a bit boring after a while, there was nothing wrong with her performance. As she left the room, the Gamemakers agreed that she would continue the pattern and gave her a 9.

The transition from District 2 to District 3 was always enough to give even the most seasoned Gamemaker a case of whiplash, but Tazzle tried to keep an open mind. However, Ramsey Newman made it difficult. To everyone's surprise, Ramsey went directly to the spears and took a long, thin one. He half-heartedly jabbed a few stationary dummies with it, never allowing himself to throw the spear. He did well enough for a still opponent, but everyone knew that opponents in the arena rarely stood still. Much to everyone's dismay, he was awarded a meager 4 for his efforts.

The group wasn't expecting Orabella Lenwood to turn the energy around as much as she did, but she came into the gymnasium with something to prove. She worked quickly and meticulously, and by the end of her 15 minutes, she had set a trap that would cause a weighted net to fall on top of whatever victim happened to trigger the trip wire. She demonstrated with a moving dummy, and when the net fell, she approached with a dagger and quickly slit the dummy's throat. Although it wasn't the most impressive trap they had ever seen, they admired her enthusiasm and gave her a 6.

Going back to District 4 should have been another drastic tone shift, but the Gamemakers were simply not as impressed with Hudson Firth as they were expecting him to be. Unsurprisingly, he chose to spend his 15 minutes alone with a trident. While he was technically able to use the weapon both up close and at a distance, he lost some speed when his target was close to him, and lost some accuracy when it was far away. Still, they all admired his ability to keep going, even though he clearly knew that he was not doing his best. They settled on giving him an 8, even though there were some compelling arguments to give him a 7.

Risso Copeland, on the other hand, delivered even further beyond the Gamemakers' expectations. She used a long sword up close on a moving target, and when she was satisfied with her performance there, she moved to throwing spears. She was the first tribute to demonstrate knowledge of two different weapons, one for distance and one for close range, and she did so nearly flawlessly with both weapons. The 10 that they awarded her came as a surprise to nearly everyone involved with the scoring process.

As far as a movement from the inner Districts to the outer ones went, Teo Ramaigyan proved to be a good jumping off point. He spent a quick moment at the beginning of his session gathering supplies, and the Gamemakers watched intently as he sped into a trap-making frenzy. His hands worked faster than any of them thought was possible, and by the time his session was over, he had set an intricate trap which, when stepped on, would cause an ax to swing down and decapitate the victim. As impressive as it was, the group wondered how probable it was that he would have all of the supplies necessary to pull it off. They gave him a 7, but Tazzle thought that if they could ensure he could have all of the supplies he used in the arena, he could conceivably have earned an 8.

The shift in the energy when Zezza Fritts entered the room was almost tangible. Each year, there was one tribute that could almost manage to tug at the Gamemakers' heartstrings, and Zezza was definitely a contender this year. She made a bee-line for the swords, and picked out one that was almost the size of her entire body. Tazzle glanced around the room, doubting her ability to so much as lift the weapon, but not wanting to let it show. Unfortunately, he was right, and although she seemed excited to hold the sword, she was barely able to swing it. Not to mention, she hardly seemed to have the motivation to kill– or even just hurt– another person. The Gamemakers gave her a 3, and it felt generous.

In a move that came as a surprise to absolutely everyone, Chevvy Carnegie entered the gymnasium and immediately brandished a spiked mace. In the two and a half days that the Gamemakers had been half-heartedly keeping an eye on the tributes, Tazzle had never seen Chevvy display even an ounce of aggression. Suddenly, it was as if all of his rage came out through the weapon. While he didn't necessarily display any real skill or technique, he showed that he was mentally willing to finish the job, and physically able to do so. They gave him a 5; an average score for an average performance.

Nobody knew quite what to expect when it came to Luminara Whytt. One of two outer District volunteers, it seemed the entire Capitol had a close eye on her. Tazzle noticed that she had spent the majority of training brushing up on throwing knives, which she demonstrated in her individual session. Her accuracy was good; not quite as good as Hera's, but still nearly perfect. With her remaining time, she demonstrated some hand-to-hand combat skills with an instructor. She ran out of time before one of them won over the other, but it seemed like she was in the lead by the end of it. Overall, the Gamemakers were pleased to be able to give her an 8.

In one of the least surprising private sessions of the day, Everett Knox chose to use an ax. Just like every other male tribute from District 7 that had ever existed before him, he swung it around but hit the dummies more in the sides than over the head like Donnie did. This told Tazzle everything that he needed to know; he did not have the mental capacity to kill a person, so he was treating his opponent like a tree. Since he clearly knew how to use the weapon but lacked the willingness to do it, they gave him a 6.

In contrast, Ophelia Briar took the room by surprise when she grabbed a short sword. Girls of her stature and demeanor tended to use dainty long-range weapons, but she was able to keep a still dummy at arm's length. She was obviously uncomfortable with the weapon, and while she was doing a decent job, it was clear that she simply memorized the steps to fighting well, rather than actually internalizing the methods and adapting them herself. In one of the easiest decisions of the day, the Gamemakers gave her a 5.

Tazzle was starting to have some hope for the outer District tributes this year. Then, Aris Pelletier came in. He brandished a dagger and sporadically ran around a group of dummies and stabbed them with no rhyme or reason. His display may have been impressive if all of the other tributes suddenly became completely paralyzed, but they all knew that was never going to happen. It didn't take much for the Gamemakers to agree to give him a 3.

Like her District partner, Gwyneth Calder also chose to use a dagger in her private session. She also exclusively demonstrated on stationary targets, but she at least was quick on her feet and knew enough to stab her opponents in the chest, throat, and head. Nobody thought that she would actually be able to kill someone, but it would be unfair to score her on speculation. When they were going off of just what she demonstrated, it was agreed that she deserved a 5.

If Castor was the dark horse choice for the Career tributes, Arius Finley was the dark horse of the entire Games. When he walked into the gym, he didn't pay the Gamemakers any mind. Unsurprisingly, he picked up a sickle immediately and made it clear that he was capable of using the tool as a weapon. When he was satisfied with his performance, he called over a trainer to demonstrate hand-to-hand combat with. He took the trainer down in a remarkably short time, despite selecting one of the most advanced competitors. When he left, the Gamemakers were surprised but pleased to give him a 9.

Exceptional performances were usually bittersweet, because they were almost always followed by something subpar. After her District partner's session, Roxanne Teff was quite a letdown. Like Arius, she began with some sickle work, but in comparison, she was slow and inaccurate. She quickly got visibly frustrated with herself and moved onto the edible plants section. She scored well on the test, but it was nowhere near as impressive as most of the other sessions Tazzle had seen that day. The Gamemakers gave her a 4 for her forgettable showcase.

Tributes from District 10 tended to be some of the strongest from the outer Districts. Tohias Luminoso proved to be aggressively average. Upon his arrival, he went for the spears and, like Ramsey, used the weapon as more of an extension of his arm than the throwing weapon that it had the potential to be. Tohias at least was faster and more accurate than Ramsey, so the Gamemakers gave him a 5 with the agreement that he would have scored higher if he was able to use the weapon the way it was intended.

Celina Cisco, on the other hand, was marginally more impressive than her District partner. She was much more focused on strategy than brute strength, and spent her time driving long needles into the pressure points of moving targets. The dummies were rigged to fall when the points were hit, and she took them out almost every time. When all of her pretend enemies were defeated, she combined the plants from the edible and medicinal stations to create a readily-available poison. Tazzle was impressed, and nobody objected when he suggested giving her a 7.

Also impressive was Reese Obliaso, the final volunteer of the bunch, although not impressive enough for the Gamemakers to figure out why he volunteered. He gravitated toward axes, and while he was certainly competent with them, it was clear that he chose that weapon because it was similar to what he already had experience with, but like Everett, he was using it as more of a tool than a weapon. He also moved to the medicinal plants area and made a paste that could help soothe burns. Everything that he did was impressive and would prove to be useful in the arena, so they gave him a 7 as well.

In an interesting turn, Clementina Romanesco was the only tribute of the day who decided to use a bo staff, though truthfully, she was swinging it around more like a bat than anything else. Rather than doing any specific practiced moves with the weapon, she seemed to rely on blunt force trauma to score a victory. While not the worst display they had seen that day, she was certainly not the best, and they scored her a 4; the lowest score amongst the older tributes.

Bramble Hawthorne displayed remarkable skill with a bow and arrow, which immediately set off alarms in Tazzle's mind. While tributes like Luminara and Arius showed clear prior skill with a specific weapon, Bramble's archery skills felt different. Any idiot in any District could learn to throw a punch or handle a knife, but there was no way to learn how to shoot an arrow without reliable access to them. Regardless, Tazzle couldn't let that influence the overall decision of his score, so the group gave Bramble what he deserved for his speed and accuracy; an 8.

The six-hour long process of private sessions usually dragged by the time they got to the District 12 female slot, but Tazzle was overall impressed by the tributes leading up to Annabel Buff Tenor. However, that did make it all the more disappointing when their display was less than exciting. They held a knife, but similarly to Aris, it was clear that they chose that particular weapon just because they thought it was the simplest to learn. They spent a few minutes getting up close and personal with stationary dummies, and only had to throw the knife and miss terribly once before they decided not to try that again. Tazzle had to say that he was disappointed to end the day with a 4.

Overall, the 100th Hunger Games were far from the least exciting group of tributes Tazzle had ever witnessed. With the average score hovering at a 6.5, there were definitely some strong contenders coming from regions all across the country. And if the plans for the arena were any indication, the Games would prove to be exciting yet.

Phoebe Referrent, 61
Victor of the 56th Hunger Games: District 5

At the end of the night when the scores were revealed, Phoebe couldn't help but be proud of both of her tributes. Though Zezza was technically the one that she was responsible for, she and Adam had always agreed to work as a team to support both tributes in their District. Adam's first couple of years as a mentor, he seemed desperate to prove himself individually. But loneliness must have gotten the best of him after watching a few tributes die early on, so the two mentors quickly banded together and found comfort in each other each year.

Zezza had scored a 3, and while that was tied for the lowest score of the year, it was impressive nonetheless. Phoebe had mentored her fair share of tributes who scored a 1 or 2, usually by skipping their session or crying throughout it. Even though a 3 wasn't great in the long term, it showed that Zezza had tried her best, and Phoebe couldn't be upset with that. Besides, Zezza seemed pleased with herself, and that was truly all she could have hoped for.

Teo had surprised everyone, including himself, when he pulled off a 7. Everyone cheered for him and Adam clapped him on the back while he stammered something about a trap and not knowing that what he did was that impressive. Phoebe tried to remind herself that scores weren't everything, and good scores wouldn't necessarily save her tributes to falling victim to the bloodbath, but it was hard not to celebrate the small victories. Overall, none of the four of them had any problem indulging in dessert after the final score was announced.

"I am so proud of you both," Phoebe said as she dug her fork into a slice of cake. "It would be so easy for you to just give up, but neither of you ever did."

"Thanks," Teo said. He cracked a smile. "I'm proud of me, too."

"Me too." Zezza smiled and dragged her fork through the pile of whipped cream that sat on her plate. Phoebe got the feeling that she wasn't quite all there. But she seemed content, and who was Phoebe to question a happy person?

Overall, while things weren't perfect for the District 5 tributes by any means, Phoebe felt comfortable with where they stood. She couldn't tell if it was delusion or wishful thinking, or if she was genuinely correct in having high hopes for the kids in the Quarter Quell.

To recap:

Group 1: Amos (10), Chardonnay (9), Castor (10), Hera (9), Hudson (8), Risso (10)
Group 2: Orabella (7), Celina (7), Clementina (4)
Group 3: Teo (7), Luminara (8), Arius (9), Reese (7)
Group 4: Chevvy (5), Everett (6), Tohias (5)
Group 5: Ophelia (5), Gwyneth (5)
Group 6: Bramble (8), Annabel Buff (4)
Unaffiliated: Ramsey (4), Zezza (3) Aris (3), Roxanne (4)

1. Did any of the scores surprise you for better or for worse?

2. Thoughts on Phoebe?

3. Any predictions?